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VanRoekel stepping down as federal CIO

Federal CIO Steven VanRoekel at the Feb. 6, 2014, Igniting Innovation event

Federal CIO Steven VanRoekel, shown here at a February ACT-IAC event, is moving to the U.S. Agency for International Development to help address the Ebola outbreak in Africa.

U.S. Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel is leaving his role in the White House and heading to the U.S. Agency for International Development as chief innovation officer, where he will help coordinate the administration’s response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

VanRoekel will serve as a senior adviser to USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah, according to an official. Politico first reported VanRoekel’s move, and he confirmed it on Twitter.

"Steve transformed the way the federal government embraces innovation, and enabled USAID to become more efficient and effective in past projects," Shah said in a statement. "With his unique talents and expertise, Steve will help us harness technologies like open data and mobile platforms to reach communities and households with powerful and life-saving information to help stop the devastating Ebola outbreak."

This will not be VanRoekel's first post at USAID, in 2011 VanRoekel helped coordinate the agency’s digital communications efforts in response to the drought in the Horn of Africa.

"Technology is not the solution to this extremely difficult task but it will be a part of the solution and I look forward to partnering with our Federal agencies, non-profit organizations and private-sector tech communities to help accelerate this effort," VanRoekel said in a statement.

VanRoekel joined the Obama administration in 2009 at the Federal Communications Commission as managing director, and moved to OMB in August 2011.

VanRoekel’s last day is Sept. 19. Lisa Schlosser, deputy associate administrator at the Office of E-Government and Information technology, will serve as interim CIO until a replacement is named, the official said.

VanRoekel's departure signals the vacating of the country’s top two technology roles, following former U.S. CTO Todd Park’s departure last month.

About the Author

Colby Hochmuth is a former staff writer for FCW.

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